Utility of Mobile Apps for Video Conferencing to Follow Patients at Home After Outpatient Surgery

J Am Acad Orthop Surg Glob Res Rev. 2018 Dec 6;2(12):e078. doi: 10.5435/JAAOSGlobal-D-18-00078. eCollection 2018 Dec.


Introduction: Outpatient surgery has a great opportunity to demonstrate the role of using mobile video conference (VC) postoperatively. Our patients use technology to help decision making in finding physicians. The authors aim to assess patient's perception on the use of mobile apps for VC with the surgeon and/or staff.

Methods: Consenting patients completed a questionnaire of 10 questions preoperatively and postoperatively to assess the difference in opinion.

Results: Overall, 120 patients completed the questionnaire preoperatively with 58% female population, 71% younger than 65 years, and 67% having a GED/higher education. Fifty-two patients had surgery with 54% female population, and 60% were younger than 65 years. All patients had mobile apps for VC with 55% using WhatsApp, 40% using Facetime, and 5% other. In person, being with a trained educator at the office was the preferred method for learning about surgical procedures. Overall, four patients contacted the surgeon directly preoperatively. After surgery, 8 of 52 patients (15%) used VC to the surgeon directly, and 37 patients used the VC with the team.

Conclusion: With advances in new technology, the use of mobile video conferencing adds a new forum for communication with patients. In the outpatient surgical setting, this forum would improve patient-physician relations.